tv Meet the Press NBC August 1, 2010 10:30am-11:30am EDT
>> this sunday, security breach. the leaking of secret afghanistan war documents has enraged u.s. military officials who warn the serious consequences for the leaker and the man behind the website wikileaks. >> he can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an afghan family. >> do the documents provide an unvarnished account of where the war strategy is failing? our lead news maker interview this morning. the president's top military adviser just back from
afghanistan, pakistan and iraq. chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral mike mullen. then america's painfully slow economic recovery. why does it feel so much like recession. perspective on the outlook for growth, unemployment, the government's role and your taxes from former chairman of the federal reserve, alan greenspan, mayor of new york city, michael jt pennsylvania, ed rendell. finally, an assessment of the many political and leadership tests for the president from jobs to ethics charges against congressman rangel laid out this week. with us, author and historian, doris kearns goodwin, and "time" magazine senior political analyst, mark halperin. >> from nbc news in washington, "meet the press" with david gregory. >> good morning. july is now the deadliest month
for u.s. troops in the nine-year war in afghanistan. with us, the president's principle military adviser, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, admiral mike mullen. welcome back to "meet the press." >> good morning, david. >> we just played for our viewers strong comments by you about these leaks. you indicated those who are responsible for making these secret documents public may already have blood on their hands. a strong statement. what specifically do you mean? >> the scope and volume of these leaks are unprecedented and the specifics of them and i've been through some of them but we've still got a lot of work to do to really put the details together. i think the leaks themselves don't look clearly at the war that we're in, there is an ability to put this kind of information together in the world that we're living in and potential for costing us lives is significant. i said when it first occurred i
was appalled. i remain appalled. and the potential for the loss of lives of american soldiers, coalition soldiers, or afghan citizens is clearly there. >> how can that happen based on this? >> i would speak to actually the taliban spokesman has come out in the last day or so and said that they are looking at the names. i think that's evidence of what that potential is. >> these are afghans they are looking at? >> afghan names that are listed in the documents and specifically the taliban spokesman said they would will look at that. people that aren't -- >> they could be killed is the point? >> exactly. and people that aren't in a fight like this, that don't do this for a living, don't understand what the potential is for something like this in terms of the kinds of information and a piece of information may seem very innocent in and of itself and a lot of this is old information but being able to net it together there's potential there that it could have a much bigger impact than
just as is evident on the face of a piece of information. >> what endangers you as troops? >> the fact they would look at what our tactics are, how we report, where we're fighting, who's involved, the kinds of things that we do and yet there's the volume is such that we haven't put it all together to be able to say this is exactly what potential is in terms of that. >> you are looking at a suspect, a private who you believe may be responsible for obtaining this official and ultimately leaking it. what should happen to those responsible? >> i think anybody in the national security apparatus has got to take full cognizance of their responsibility for the safeguarding of classified information. i wouldn't go into the specific details of this investigation or of the case. i'll let the investigation run its course and we'll see where
it goes specifically. the concern obviously is for leaking of classified information that will endanger people, operations and potentially depending on how serious it is, outcomes. >> some argue the fixation of the leak is a distraction from the larger point of these documents and that is that it goes in an unvarnished way to the core question of whether the strategy is actually working. "the new york times" as part of its reporting made this pete of analysis i'll put on the screen on monday. the documents 92,000 reports spanning parts of two administrations from january '04 through december '09 illustrated in detail why after the united states spent almost bz $300 billion on the war in afghanistan, the taliban is stronger than in 2001. the bigger concern is not the leak but the fact that the war may be a lost cause? >> i don't think the taliban being stronger than they have been since 2001 is news.
i've been concerned about the growing uncertainty there for a number of years. we really are at a time in afghanistan after the president's review where we've got the right strategy, the right leadership and the right resources and we really are in the second year of that aspect of afghanistan. i certainly understand it is the ninth year. it is a long time. the sacrifices have been significant and yet at the same time i think the strategy is right. the release of these documents best that i can tell have not affected the strategy. many of them were very, very old. that said, we have to work our way through exactly what the potential impact would be and i think from my perspective we're headed in the right direction. >> the reality is still the same whether news or not, the disillusionment among the american people with the fact the taliban is stronger and not weaker. go back a year ago you were on this program and i asked you about the mission. here's a portion of what you
said. >> we're rebuilding this nation. to a certain degree there's some of that going on. >> is that what the american people signed up for? >> the american people signed up for support at getting at those that got us a to the degree that the afghan peoples security and the ability to ensure that a safe haven doesn't recur in afghanistan, there's focus on some degree of nearly making sure security is okay and making sure governance moves in the right direction and developing an economy which will underpin their future. >> the problem with that a year on is that again the taliban is stronger and there appears no evidence that they're willing to do the core thing, which is to turn their back on al qaeda. isn't that the case? >> again, that's the main mission to make sure afghanistan can't become a safe haven again. they are indeed stronger. and yet the president approved
additional forces. most of which are there but there is still additional forces yet to come this year. we've said for many, many months this would be a very difficult year. you pointed out the losses that have occurred in the month of july, the highest ever. we recognize that. this is a tough fight. we think we've got the resources right, the strategy right, and there's also a regional piece to this. a lot of effort going on pakistan side. significant effort on the part of pakistani leadership, pakistani military to address that as well. but we're not there. we're at a point now where over the course of the next 12 months, it really is going to tell the tale which way this is going to go. >> another problem area in terms of achieving the goal is indeed pakistan. i talked to people who said the strategy and effect boils down to this with general petraeus on the scene. bloody the nose of the taliban to the point they are willing to turn their back on al qaeda. pakistan can broker a deal where there's power sharing in the country where the taliban have a
seat at the table and control some part of that geography and in return al qaeda is out of the picture. that's still a big if and here's one of the reasons why. look at pakistan's record. start with this pew research center poll from this week. how do pakistanis view the u.s.? six in ten see the united states as an enemy. the taliban is operating from within pakistan from safe havens. caved cameron said this as reported by the "financial times" on wednesday. the u.s. prime minister used his first public appearance to warn pakistan to stop promoting terror or face isolation in the international community. the intelligence service from pakistan was helping the afghan taliban. is pakistan working against our interest there? >> i said for a long time clearly that a critical key to success in the region is going to be pakistan and our
relationship with pakistan, which was one that was broken in the late '80s and in which we worked hard to restore. there are elements of the pakistani intelligence agency that are connected or have had relationships with extremists is certainly known and that has to change. i just came back from my 19th trip to pakistan since i've been in this job spending time particularly with military leadership and he has actually directed his military to take on the insurgent threat in his own country. he's made great strides. we recognize that part of that is to focus on the network and the other afghan -- >> they operate in that tribal area. >> they do. they have a safe haven there and that causes us great problems in afghanistan as well. we anxious to have that
addressed as weaddress is well known to him. this won't happen overnight. it's too early to say what the outcome would look like specifically. suffice it to say we have to be in a stronger position in afghanistan vis-a-vis the insurgency overall. we have to continue to develop this relationship and evolve this relationship with pakistan. there's a regional approach here and certainly india, which is where prime minister cameron spoke from, india is certainly more than just concerned with the overall outcome here. >> true or untrue, the big fear is that pakistan is working against us and not with us. >> in many ways pakistan is working with us. their military, their intelligence agency, we've got a very strong relationship in the positive sense with their intelligence agency. that doesn't mean there aren't some challenges. >> there are reporting elements
killing u.s. soldiers. >> they have shared intelligence with us. they killed as many or more terrorists as anybody. they captured them. certainly the focus on changing the strategic shift if you will in that agency so that that doesn't happen at all is a priority for us. >> fair to say that among the outcomes you would look at would be a scenario where the taliban would have some power in the country? >> i think in any of these kinds of insurgencies over history in the political solution those who have been insurgents at some point in time have been in a position of political influence at some point down the road. i think we're way too early to say what that looks like or when it might happen. >> it seems to be an important point if you look at the cover of "time" magazine which has a striking photograph of a young woman whose nose was cut off by the taliban.
just one indication of how brutal and horrific they are. the grim reality if that's an argument of why the u.s. should not leave is the central mission of the united states is not to protect the women of afghanistan, is that fair? >> i think the central mission in afghanistan right now is to protect the people certainly. that would be inclusive of everybody. and in an insurgency and counterinsurgency, that's really the center of gravity. >> you said a year ago the central mission was to get at those who threaten us. our central mission is not to protect the women who could be brutalized in the taliban come into power in any fashion. >> the taliban are incredibly unpopular with the afghan people as we speak as they have been for a long period of time. the overall mission is to dismantle and defeat and disrupt al qaeda. we have to make sure there's not a safe haven that returns in
afghanistan. afghanistan has to be stable enough, has to have enough governance, has to create enough jobs and have an economy good enough so that the taliban cannot return to the brutality of the kind of regime that you just showed. >> however, the united states could still withdraw and do so having achieved the mission and women like those on the cover of that magazine could still be in danger. >> certainly the long-term goal is to make sure that with respect to the population in afghanistan that there's a governance structure that treats its people well. but to say exactly how that's going to look and what specifics would be involved, i think it's just way too early. >> i want to ask you a couple questions about iran. another threat that this administration is facing. the consequences of iran developing a nuclear weapon are vast and something that the administration certainly wants to prevent. this is what you said back in april of 2010. i'll put it up on the screen at
columbia university. i think iran having a nuclear weapon would be incredibly destabilizing. i think attacking them would also create the same kind of outcome. keen analysis. my question is which is worse? >> actually, when i speak to that, i talked to unintended consequences of either outcome. and it's those unintended consequences that are difficult to predict in what is an incredibly unstable part of the world that i worry about the most. what i try to do when i talk about that is identify the space between those two outcomes, which is pretty narrow, in which i think diplomacy, the kind of sanctions and international pressure that is being applied i am hopeful works. i recognize that there isn't that much space there but quite frankly i am extremely concerned about both of those outcomes. >> leaders have to make a decision. you're a leader. the president is a leader.
which is worse, iran with a nuclear weapon or what could happen if the united states attacks? >> certainly for our country the suspect the one making those decisions and i wouldn't be one that would pick one or the other along those lines. i think they both have great downside potential. >> the president said he's determined to stop iran from developing a nuclear weapon. he doesn't just say it's unacceptable. he says he's determined to stop it. is force against iran by the united states on the table in a way that it has not been even in our recent history, past six months, a year? >> i think the military actions have been on the table and remain on the table and certainly in that regard it's one of the options that the president has. again, i hope we don't get to that. it's an important option. it's one that's well understood. >> there was a concern among israelis, among americans, that there weren't very many good options when it came to attacking iran should it come to that. is that still the case? >> i think that's the case. >> there aren't very many good options? >> depends on what you mean by
that. none of them are good in a sense that certainly an outcome that we wouldn't seek and at the same time what i talked about before is not just the consequences of the action itself but the things that could result after the fact. >> the military has a plan should it come to that? >> we do. >> along one final question that troubles you is the rate of suicides in the military and the concern is not just that they have been increasing but that commanders in the field have not been attentive enough to the problems that are leading to suicides. what should be done about that? >> i think it was addressed this week very well by general car elle specifically. the purpose of the review which was widely reported on was to understand as much as we could about what the problem was. it is not a problem that exists just in the army because the suicide rate is up in all our services. we don't have the answers. i am one who believes that the pressure of these wars and the repeated deployments is a
significant factor but there's a significant population that have committed suicide that have not deployed. it's an incredibly complex, vexing problem. i think what general carelle did was focus on leaders to be attentive to this in every single way and know that we certainly are not close to solving it. it's an enormously complex problem nationally for us and we're a microkoz m of that. our rates exceed the norm in the country and it's something we have to focus on. >> admiral mullen, thank you very much. >> thank you, david. >> we'll continue the discussion up online this afternoon in our web extra and look for updates from me on our website. up next, the economic outlook. if this is really recovery, why does it still feel like a recession? three key voices way in.
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it's just the right thing to do. >> we are back. the biggest challenge facing this administration by far is the deep economic hole this country is still in. this week the government adjusted its economic growth numbers illustrating that the economic recovery is slower and more fragile than previously thought. here to shed light on what the administration calls recovery summer, the former chair of the democratic national committee and governor of pennsylvania, ed rendell. new york city mayor michael bloomberg and federormer chairmf the federal reserve, alan greenspan. there's so much to discuss. we'll get to as much as we can. mayor bloomberg is how the white house is describing this but yet we know the recovery in the second quarter of the year is slower. we know that unemployment is stubbornly high. that companies have a lot of cash but they're not hiring. so my question is why is it that recovery feels so much like
recession? >> well, you have the public not wanting any new spending. you have the republicans not wanting any new taxes. you have the democrats not wanting any new spending cuts. you have the markets not wanting any new borrowing. you have the economists wanting all of the above. that leads to paralysis. and paralysis leads to uncertainty and uncertainty is not good. you don't make spending decisions, investment decisions, hiring decisions or whether to look for a job decisions when you don't know what's going to happen. you pass 2,000-page bills but the regulations are where the details are. everybody has to lobby up with lobbyists and lawyers and nobody knows what the future is. that's not good. we have to end the uncertainty and until you do that, i don't think you come out of this recession. >> dr. greenspan, the associated press reported on a survey this week of economists. a bleaker outlook for the economy into 2011. the u.s. economic recovery will
remain slow deep into next year held back by shoppers reluctant to spend and employers unwilling to hire. the latest survey show economists turning gloomier seeing weaker growth and higher unemployment than before. fed chairman bernanke said the outlook is unusually uncertain. newer generation fed speak there. does that mean -- do you think that means the economy gets worse before it gets better? >> maybe but not necessarily. i think we're in a pause in a recovery, a modest recovery, but a pause in the modest recovery feels like a quasi-recession. our problem is we have a very distorted economy in the sense there's been a significant recovery in a limited area of the economy amongst high income individuals who have just had
$800 billion added to their 401(k)s and are carrying what consumption there is. large banks that are doing much better and large corporations who you point out and everyone is pointing out are in excellent shape. the rest of the economy, small business, small banks, and have very significant amount of the labor force which is in tragic long-term unemployment, that is pulling the economy apart. the average of those two is what we are looking at but they are fundamentally separate. >> if you add in the housing crisis which remains a crisis, do you think it's possible that we get this double dip recession that a lot of people fear? >> it is possible if home prices go down. home prices as best we can judge have really flattened out in the last year.
and while it is true that most economists expect a small dip from here largely as a consequence of the ending of the tax credit, the data doesn't show that at this particular stage. in home prices stay stable, then i think we will skirt the worst of the housing problem. but right under this current price level, maybe 5% to 8% below is a very large block of mortgages which are under water so to speak or could be under water. and that would induce a major increase in foreclosures. foreclosures would feed on the weakness in prices and it would create a problem so that it is touch and go. >> governor rendell, one of the things that secretary geithner said on this programñi last wee is that we reached a point as he said where we need to make a transition to a recovery led by private investment. led by the private sector. government has to take its foot off the accelerator when it
comes to stimulus. here's the reaction we're talking about in so many states where on the local level, state level, huge cutbacks creating more unemployment in states. governor paterson telling "the washington post" earlier this month that we may be looking at a culture and lifestyle around this country that will remind people of the depression and not a recession if we cut through these budgets much more. that's the tension. governor of new york saying government can't pull back when you have so many people still in need. >> well, first of all, i want to piggyback on what the mayor said. the mayor is right about the paralysis. i think the paralysis is driven mostly by partisanship and by the fall election. david walker of the peterson foundation said it best. we should still be investing in things that stimulate the economy and we can do that at the same time that we put together a long-term plan for deficit reduction. we can do both and we have to do both.
for example, you have heard the mayor and i talk about infrastructure, the infrastructure part of the stimulus has worked. there's absolutely no question about it. we can demonstrate in pennsylvania and other states around the union how it has produced good paying jobs on the construction sites and back in american factories. it has worked. we should be investing more money in our infrastructure right now. we need it, number one, and number two, it's the best job creator. >> if you look back in the 1930s, the money went to infrastructure. the bridges, the municipal buildings, the roads, those were all built with stimulus money spent on infrastructure. this stimulus bill hasxdñr fundmentally start out with a $500 million rebate that made flat screens in china. that didn't help our economy. the stimulus money given out to governments are used for operating rather than investment and moneys going to the private sector, they're doing pet projects for companies that happen to have influence throughout this country and the argument is these people would get laid off if we didn't do
that but nobody is directing this money at the people that have already been laid off. >> where do you see unemployment as we move through the rest of this year and beyond? >> i see we just stay where we are. there is a gradual increase in employment but not enough to reduce the level of unemployment. >> we're at or about 10%. is that where we remain? >> i would say that there's nothing out there that i can see which will alter the trend or the level of unemployment in this country. >> interest rates, how long before they start coming up? do they need to stay low? >> well, the problem there implies that government has control over those rates. the federal reserve and the treasury department in a sense. there is no doubt that the federal funds rate, that is the rate produced by the federal reserve, can be fixed at what the fed wants it to be but which
the government has no control over is long-term interest rates and long-term interest rates are what make the economy move. and if this budget problem eventually merges to the point where it begins to become very toxic, it will be reflected in rising long-term interest rates, rising mortgage rates, lower housing. at the moment there is no sign of that because the financial system is broke and you cannot have inflation if the financial system is not working. >> mayor bloomberg, let me talk about the tax cut debate gripping washington right now. political stupidity u.s. style is the headline. can a nation remain a superpower if politics are stupid? start with taxes, he writes. in every other serious democracy, conservative political parties feel an obligation to match tax policies with spending plans.
david cameron, the new conser conservative prime minister in britain offered a budget that includes severe toughbaccutback. alongside cuts he added value to the tax. imagine a fiscal conservative who really is a fiscal conservative that could never happen here because the fairy tale supply side economic insists that taxes are too high especially on the ridge. the administration says economic growth won't be affected if you let the tax cuts expire for the wealthiest americans. >> i don't think you want to run the risk that they are wrong. i would say let's go on with the tax cuts for another couple of years but you couple it with long-term solutions. and you have to look at what's politically possible. >> governor rendell, that's not the position of administration or democrats who want to make it a big midterm election issue.
>> i think that both parties have to get together and say we'll do this together. we'll make the changes. they won't be popular but they're necessary. you have to have increased taxes along with those reductions. and this fairy tale that increase taxes on rich will hurt the economy, well, we don't have to look further than 1993 what bill clinton did without one republican vote was the same thing. raised taxes on top 2% in america. that was combined with budget cuts that the president and the republican congress did together and it produced ed 23.5 millionw jobs. >> you have that cycle going. we have a war and -- >> no question. if it was going hurt small business, you would have seen nothing close to 23.5 million jobs created. what i think we ought to do sit down after the election because it's our only chance to do this.
everyone takes responsibility for cutting the entitlement programs which as the mayor says are absolutely necessary. we phase in the elimination of the tax cut for rich over two or three years. i would accept that. taxes as you said and prime minister cameron did, you have to do both. you have to cut spending and we ought to be doing that. you have to continue short-term stimulus as david walker said and you've got to raise revenue. >> dr. greenspan, it's not often that you hear democrats and liberals quoting you but in this case they did when it came to tax cuts because of an interview you gave recently on bloomberg television. tax cuts due to expire at the end of this year, should they be extended? what should congress do? you said i should say they should follow the law and then let them lapse. question, do those interests who say you let the taxes go, my taxes go up and it will
depression growth and you said yes, it probably will but we have no choice in doing that because we have to recognize there are no solutions which are optimum. these are choices between bad and worse. you're saying let them all go, let them all lapse? >> i am very much in favor of tax cuts but not with borrowed money. and the problem that we've gotten into in recent years is that spending programs with borrowed money, tax cuts with borrowed money, and at the end of the day that proves disastrous and my view is i don't think we can play subtle policy here. >> you don't agree with republican leaders who say tax cuts pay for themselves? >> i do not. >> a couple other topics i want to get to. financial reform. a couple weeks from now a big sequel is coming out in theaters. this is "greed."
this is a clip from the original film, "wall street." >> greed, for lack of a better word, is good. greed is right. greed works. greed clarifies, cuts through and captures the essence of evolutionary spirit. >> today is wall street different and will financial reform make wall street different? >> devils in the details. 2,000-page bill that few people have ever read but it turns over to the s.e.c. and fed and other agencies the responsibility for write regulations. this is a dream piece of legislation for lobbyists and for lawyers and nobody knows the answer to your question. >> let me show something, dr. greenspan, david brooks writes about bad blood between the obama administration and the business community which has only gotten worse because of financial reform. i'll put it up on the screen
what brooks writes in his column. the psychological war is taking a toll. some administration official think corporate honchos are free market hypocrites prowling for corporate welfare. many in the business community say a big problem is nobody who works in the administration has run a business and that's contributing to their attitude and their policies. >> i can't answer that question. the reason i can't is i have never seen anything like this i have been in and out of wall street since 1949. i've never seen the type of animosity between government and wall street and i'm not sure where it comes from but i suspect it has to do with this society that is becoming more destructive.
we have to change it. >> you see that animosity. why? >> the public is upset. if they haven't lost their job, they know somebody that has. what do you do? when something is wrong, it's government's job to fix it. it must be government responsible for causing it. government want to stay in office. they look for someone else to blame. it's too simplistic to say the banks did something wrong. we all wanted to expand the economy. we all wanted to expand home ownership. we all wanted wall street to create money so we could have these mortgages and then invariably that leads to success and that leads to a correction, more violent with time, and then we have to look for villains and we have to stop all this. one of government's jobs is to promote the economy and to promote american commerce and finance and the arts around the world. and this constant tearing each other apart, we can sit down and
say what did we do wrong and how will we fix it but always pointing fingers and finding fault with everybody, we need to find solutions. >> governor, when you are a president with such high unemployment and recession to have such a poor relationship with the business community is a very difficult thing particularly when you have the treasury secretary saying recovery can only be led by the private sector. >> right. it's got to be repaired. there's no question about it. i think it goes to a fundamental question. is regulation per se bad? i think better regulation is good for the business community and that's something we should get together on. >> i want to go around the horn on final thoughts on key issues. i'll start with you, mayor, on immigration. what's the impact of what we've seen? the ruling this week and protests that continue on something you feel strongly about which is a comprehensive solution. >> there will be a lot of litigation. no question about that. whatever arizona is allowed to do and does do will not have
great impact on the rest of this country. this is a national problem. we have to get control of our borders. you can only do that if you make companies obey the law and not hire undocumented or illegals. they can only do that if they have a social security card that has biometrics so they know if the person is legal or not. we have to do something about 12 million undocumented here. they broke the law. we can't deport them. let's get over pointing fingers and do something about that. whether they have to pay a fine, learn to speak english, history, and then give visas for the skills we need. canada sets aside a percent of visas for people with skills their think their countries need. >> i'm almost out of time. governor, when you were here some months ago you said for democrats to keep control if there's unemploymentouble digits it's hard to do. do democrats hold the house? >> we hold the house but lose
significant seats and we hold the senate. republicans have made mistakes like opposing unemployment compensation extension and going after the president for the bp deal. there weren't 5% of americans who didn't think that was a good deal. >> dr. greenspan, the dow. an important barometer. as you said before on this program because there's real money there. are we out of the woods in the sense that dow 10,000 plus you think is here to stay? >> i wish i could answer that one. it's critical issue because as you point out and as i've always believed, we underestimate the impact of stock prices on economic activity. asset prices are having a profoundly important effect and created the extent of the contraction globally and collapsed the value of collateral system and disabled finance. we have come all of the way
ck, maybe more than halfway, it's had a positive effect. i don't know where the stock market is going but i will say this. that if it continues higher, this will do more to stimulate the economy than anything we've been talking about today or anything anybody else was talking about. >> final political point, mayor bloomberg. congressman rangel, should he stay in his job or step aside? >> it's not good for new york. he was going to be a poweul representative that could deliver for new york. i'll let congress worry about whether he did these things he's alleged to have done. the whole thing is symptomatic that we don't have the kind of disclosure and congress doesn't have self-policing and openness and advice
and visibility this country needs. >> mayor bloomberg isn't seeking the white house because he can't get elected. his only supporters are diane taylor and his 101-year-old mother. i'm against guns. i believe in darwin. even with so many independents in vogue these days, you will rule out a run? >> i will rule out a run. i have the best job that i could possibly have. i've got 1,251 more days to do it. i'm looking forward to every single one of them. >> all right. we'll leave it there. thank you all very much. up next, leadership tests for president obama. ethics charges against congressman charlie rangel and all of the attention over chelsea clinton's big wedding last night.
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>> we are back. joining me "time" magazine editor at large, mark halperin and presidential historian, doris kearns goodwin. welcome both of you. a lot of people paying attention to the chelsea clinton wedding. we'll have pictures and talk a bit about that in just a moment. i want to talk about such difficult subjects, doris and the question of how the president is performing under the weight of a war in afghanistan that's not going well that has such significant challenges and that the public appears to be losing support for and the economy. alan greenspan just saying tragic unemployment is the real challenge here. these are huge weights on the president. >> the most important thing for a president both in the midst of a war and troubled economy is to use that bully pulpit. teddy roosevelt said it's the unparalleled platform to get your agenda across and somehow the great communicator has to figure out the right way for him
to do that. when he went to auto companies it worked and it showed energy and that there was success. in 1934 fdr was in a similar condition in the economy. people said it hadn't recovered. the economy was stubbornly high unemployment like you said it was 20%. he persuaded the people he was moving forward and showed them where successes were and gave them confidence in the future. he won the midterm elections in 1934. on afghanistan, we don't have a sense of any kind of progress over there which is a real problem. again, going back to my buddy fdr, the reason he invaded north africa in 1942 was to show progress. eisenhower didn't want him to do it. marshall didn't want him to do it. marshall finally later said i didn't understand in a democracy the people have to be entertained. where is the progress that we're going to see in afghanistan? you have to keep public support on the economy and the war or these things will become troubling. >> i want to come back to the war in a moment. mark halperin, on the point about the economy specifically
the auto bailouts because the white house said there's success here. we bailed them out. it was unpopular. look, they've come back. we saved jobs. if we walked away it would have been worse. i was reading a blog on washingt washingtonpost.com. the president was in michigan on friday and tried to turn that around. i want to show a portion of what he said. >> the bottom line is this. we have a long way to go, but we're beginning to see some of these tough decisions pay off. we are moving forward. i want you to remember though if some folks had their way, none of this would have been happening. just want to point that out. right. i mean this plant and your jobs might not exist. there were leaders of the just say no crowd in washington.
they were saying standing by the auto industry would guarantee failure. one of them called it the worst investment you could possibly make. >> mark, what strikes me is the president is still trying to win the argument on some of these big issues. >> there's a two-part argument. you saw part of it there. it's hard toay have your message be i'm not as bad as george bush. that's not a razzing message when like george bush you're a president with a bad economy and unpopular war and a division in washington. that message to keep reminding people that he's made some stuff decisi tough decisions and he thinks they will pay off. he's going say to the american people that you have succeeded. the american people worked hard through adversity. we're not out of it yet but we've had success. he needs right track having the country thinking things can be better. he needs good news. he's not the best messenger usually about other things but himself. good at talking about what i
have done. that's what got him elected. he's now switching to saying here's what the country can do. it may not be morning in america but things can be better because of the hard work of the american people. that's a more effective message. >> we know that some of the reporting this morning indicating the president will try to frame this message from afar. it's striking when you think back to the election in 2008, he was going into red states and blue states alike and he was so popular in these districts. you have close districts for democrats and they may not want him there because he's more of a negative and then you add to that the situation with charlie rangel. new york congressman now facing an ethics trial. charges against him. the president was asked about congressman rangel and he -- to say support was tepid was an understatement. this is what he said to cbs. >> i think charlie rangel served a very long time and served his constituents very well, but these allegations are very troubling and he's somebody who
is at the end of his career, 80 years old, i'm sure what he wants is to be able to end his career with dignity and my hope is that happen. >> the last thing the democrats need. didn't get a lot of support there, congressman rangel didn't, from the president. >> you think of charlie rangel and you think of those that were there but i think that what needs to be done for the president even if people say they don't want him in their district, he needs to go into those districts and show those jobs that have been lost. he said on "the view" a very good thing. it doesn't matter if jobs are lost unless it's your job. visually show success. he has to prove the stimulus worked where it did work and that the bank bailout is being repaid by interest and prove positives of health care and go into districts and show energy he did in the auto thing.
he was great there. he should do that again and again. >> can rangel survive this? >> the president was giving him a shove it seemed clear. both congressional democrats and people in the white house hope that rangel thinks this through and realizes this is not a good way to end his career. i don't think the white house -- this is not the worst thing for democrats in midterm because they have bigger problems on the economy but it does remind people about washington not working. i tv)s)háhere's no doubt there's a racial component to this as democratic party and for the president. >> back in 1992 we were introduced toçó the clinton famy with this image on the cover of "people" magazine at the governor's mansion in arkansas. fast forward. young chelsea clinton is a married lady. looks like a beautiful ceremony withxf her down the aisle. what strikes but the interest in chelsea's wedding? >> we have lived with this family in a very intimate way giving troubles and successes they have had and it shows how
far we have come as a country. when maria monroe got married, 34 words compared to incredible excitement. whatever democrats and republicans may say about the clintons, the legacy and this kid well balanced smart and in a terrific shape is a great legacy to have. >> this really was about them. it wasn't about the clintons and their friends and a big to do. >> first politician i ever covered was bill clinton. he seemed interesting. the country is more fascinated with the clintons and press is more fascinated with the clintons than anybody. i'm sure that chelsea gotñi through her wedding with a fair amount of privacy. it could hav been a bigger circus than it was. >> thank you very much. we'll be right back.